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November 14, 2019

Mayhem in KP Assembly over bills’ passage in a hurry: Opposition MPAs encircle speaker’s dais, tear up bills’ copies


November 14, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Wednesday witnessed rumpus as the joint opposition legislators protested the passage of two bills in a hurry.

The opposition lawmakers encircled the speaker's dais and tore up copies of the bills. Amid protest by the opposition MPAs and chanting of slogans like "Down with selected, illegitimate and incapable government" Speaker Mushtaq Ghani put to vote the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mineral Sector Governance (amendment) Bill, 2019 and the KP Local Government (second amendment) Bill, 2019 which were passed with majority. Sardar Hussain Babak of Awami National Party (ANP) and Inayatullah Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) objected over the passage of the legislation, accusing the government of bulldozing the bills.

They said the government's attempt to bulldoze the legislation was tantamount to snatching rights from the people. They insisted the opposition should be given a chance to study the bills and suggest improvements through amendments. Sardar Hussain Babak said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was trying to usurp the rights of the people by taking advantage of its majority in the House.

He maintained that on the one hand, the Sikhs across the border were being given visa-free access through the Kartarpur corridor, but on the other hand the Pakhtuns living across the western border were being divided by fencing the border.

The members from the joint opposition gathered in front of the speaker's dais and shouted slogans against the government when the speaker asked Law Minister Sultan Muhammad Khan to move the bills for passage.

They tore up the bills and shouted slogans. Earlier, the Muslim Family Law (amendment) Bill, 2019 and KP Panagah Bill, 2019 were also introduced in the House. The motion to declare the assembly building as polling station for election for a Senate seat on November 26 was also adopted unanimously. The two new MPAs elected on women reserved seats, Ayesha Bibi of PTI and Baseerat Khan of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) took oath of their office on Wednesday.

The session was summoned just for one day to pass the bills and motion of declaring the House as polling station for the election for the Senate's vacant seat scheduled for November 26. The seat fell vacant due to resignation of Khanzada Khan of Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

The PTI has awarded ticket to his son Zeeshan Khanzada, who recently quit the PPP and joined the Imran Khan-led party. The ANP has fielded former provincial minister Hidayatullah Khan while PPP has put up Farzand Ali as its candidate.

The speaker prorogued the session sine die amid the opposition's protest and shouting of slogans when the bills were passed.

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